OKC Thunder Hold Off Washington in OT Thriller
Man oh man, what a doozy. The OKC Thunder persevered on Wednesday night at the Peake, defeating former Thunder Buddy Coach Scott Brooks and the Washington Wizards 126-115 in an overtime barn-burner.
The fans at Chesapeake gave Scott Brooks a warm ovation prior to the game. There was a nice moment between Russ and his former coach right before tipoff.
It was all OKC early, and Victor Oladipo was en fuego to start the game, lighting the Wizards up to the tune of 14 first half points on 6-7 shooting. This was especially helpful because Russ could not get it going early, shooting a lowly 4-15 in the first half. More on Russ later, because, of course there is.
The Thunder closed out the first frame on a 22-6 run leading 32-19. They cooled off in the second, allowing Washington to close the gap to 60-53. Washington really started getting to the rim in the second, converting on 10-12 in the last eight minutes to close the gap. The Thunder would continue the slide after the half, and Washington outscored the Thunder 31-24 in the 3rd.
Both teams went small for a majority of the fourth quarter, which should’ve been more conducive to the Thunder’s style of play, however, they found themselves down 7 with a little more than 3 minutes left in the game.
The Thunder rallied late, playing really solid defense, running the break, and hitting several key buckets. Russ would get his 10th assist off a Semaj Christon steal, after which Russ led a streaking Oladipo to the rim for a transition dunk to trim the lead to one.
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Washington would score on the ensuing possession forcing an OKC timeout to advance the ball past half court. Fun fact: tonight was Russell’s 4th straight triple-double, and his 46th of his career. Russ has more triple doubles than 19 NBA teams have since the 1983-84 season. Let that sink in.
Down 3 with around 18 ticks left on the clock, OKC inbounded the ball to Russ. Russ looked for Anthony Morrow, who played 31 minutes tonight, but was a frigid 2-9 from the floor, 2-7 from three. Morrow wasn’t open. Russ tried to drive for the quick two, but the defense sagged, and he stepped back for a three from the wing to force the tie…
AND IT WAS PURE!!!! FREE BASKETBALL LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!
It was the Russell Westbrook show in overtime, and Washington really never stood a chance. Russ had 14 of his 35 in the extra frame. He would add 14 boards and 11 assists to the 35 points on 12-35 shooting, and only 1-6 from three.
He hit the only one that mattered.
Oladipo finished with 25 on 10-16 from the floor and 5-9 from three; Dipo is thriving as the second option in Oklahoma City. Enes Kanter chipped in 14 off the bench, and Domantas Sabonis was a perfect 5-5 for ten points. Sabonis also had two key steals, and stuffed Marcin Gortat at the rim earlier in the game.
Steven Adams was forced to check out for a little bit in the first half after taking an elbow to the eye. The big guy would finish with 12 points on 3-6 shooting from the floor, and 6-10 from the line, which was a surprisingly bad night for him from the charity stripe this year, as he’s shot over 80% on free throws thus far.
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Bradley Beal led the Wizards in scoring, finishing with 31 on 10-21 from the field. John Wall was frigid shooting 6-20 from the field, good for 15 points. Wall also chipped in 15 assists. Marcin Gortat had a double-double for the Wizards tonight, finishing with 12 points and 11 boards. The battle between Gortat and Adams down low was fun to watch this evening. 7 Wizards would finish the evening in double digit scoring.
The Thunder looked great in transition, finishing with 25 points to Washington’s five. OKC also took advantage of Washington turnovers, scoring 19 points off of 12 turnovers.
This was the fifth straight game in a different time zone for the Thunder, which can take a toll on a team. OKC gets a much needed three days off before hosting Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.